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Knowledge Base : Frequently Asked Questions : Powersports Batteries FAQ : Why is My 12 Volt Battery Reading as 13 Volts?

Why is My 12 Volt Battery Reading as 13 Volts?

Inside diagram of Lead acid battery

All Lead acid batteries (Gel, AGM, Flooded, Drycell, etc) are made up of a series of 2.2 volt cells that are bridged together in series to reach their final desired voltage. For instance, a 6 volt battery will have 3 cells (3 x2.2= 6.6 volts), a 12 volt battery will have 6 cells (6 x2.2=13.2 volts) and so on.That 2.2 volts is the fully charged, straight off the charger number. The actual resting voltage, or the voltage a battery will settle at 12-24 hours after being removed from the charger, is closer to 2.1 volts per cell, or about 6.4 volts for a 6v battery, and 12.7 volts for a 12v battery. These numbers assume 100% healthy cells, and may vary a bit lower for older batteries.


 
3 Responses,   5.0 Rating

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  • Very helpful information and well-written for a non-technical college grad. Thank you

    Joan
    April 23, 2012 a 9:02 am
    • I have 6 8volt batteries that are dead. My charger won‘t charge them because they are below 20 %. and they are 5 years old. Can they be saved?

      Tim
      January 21, 2013 a 11:22 am
      • If the 8 volt charger won‘t do it, try using a 6 volt charger to bring them up to the point where the 8 volt charger can ‘read them’ and turn on.

        Tech
        January 21, 2013 a 12:20 pm
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